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National Specials Weekend (3-4 June 2017)

West Mercia Police Special Constables carried out a range of duties during National Specials Weekend, protecting people from harm, promoting the work of the Special Constabulary in local communities and encouraging people to volunteer as Special Constables.

Their activities demonstrated how their role benefits our communities, our volunteers and the police force itself, and National Specials Weekend provided an opportunity to focus on the roles and responsibilities of our Special Constables, as well as their day-to-day work and achievements.

For National Specials Weekend, John Campion, West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner, posted a video online acknowledging and celebrating the role of Special Constables: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ug9lLm1-wjU

West Mercia Special Constables began their National Specials Weekend activities on Friday evening, 2 June 2017, by carrying out licensing checks on pubs in the Droitwich Spa area of Worcestershire. Officers in Kidderminster undertook rural and burglary patrols across the town, and volunteers in Worcester monitored activities at a drum 'n' bass/rave to ensure no anti-social behaviour took place.

On Saturday, 3 June 2017, Special Constables attended the West Mercia Police and Warwickshire Police Volunteers Conference at Hindlip Hall, and also took part in training sessions.

At the conference attendees were welcomed by John Campion, West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner, and heard presentations on drone technology, the forces' 'Looking to 2020 Vision' which seeks to protect people from harm, and received a force safety training demonstration.

The Special Constabulary Operational Policing Unit (OPU) in Shropshire assisted regular officers with an automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) operation in Shrewsbury and Telford. In the first few hours of the operation officers made four seizures for drivers having no insurance and no tax, and one driver was stopped for drink and drug issues.

Shropshire OPU have the highest complement of OPU Special Constables, with seven currently trained and deployable, and they are firmly embedded within the department. The officers work with and support the full-time staff, providing valuable time and skills to assist in protecting our communities from harm. All of our Special Constables receive additional training surrounding ANPR and traffic processes and once competent can patrol alongside and independently of their OPU regular officers.

As a result of the operation, five vehicles were seized, 12 Traffic Offence Reports were issued, one person in custody after they underwent a roadside breath test which recorded as one drug swipe.

In Herefordshire, West Mercia Special Constables carried out speed enforcement activities, seeking to educate and inform motorists about the issues and responsibilities.

In Kidderminster, officers again performed rural and burglary patrols throughout the afternoon and early evening.

From 1pm-7pm, Shropshire volunteers undertook high visibility patrols at Whitchurch's Party in the Park in Jubilee Park to provide reassurance and reduce anti-social behaviour.

Across the West Mercia Policing area, members of the Special Constabulary met with members of the public to highlight the work of volunteers and their responsibilities: Special Chief Officer Nick Marlow and colleagues participated in community engagement in Worcester city centre.

Special Constables had a presence at the Bewdley Regatta; in Redditch officers carried out reassurance patrols to support visitors and the night-time economy. In Worcester Special Constables undertook a drink-drive campaign to raise awareness among local motorists.

On Sunday, 4 June 2017, West Mercia Special Constables in Kidderminster carried out further rural and burglary patrols. Herefordshire Special Constables in Ross on Wye assisted with a 35th anniversary commemoration of the Falklands War. The events, organised by the Royal British Legion, started at Ross Town Cemetery at 11.00am, continued with march past in the town centre and concluded with an open air service of commemoration at 3:00pm at the Market House.

Anthony Bangham, Chief Constable of West Mercia Police, said: "National Specials Weekend is an occasion to highlight the work and achievements of our Special Constables, who play an important role within West Mercia Police, working with regular officers and police staff to strengthen our links to local communities and make a real difference to people's lives. In calling on their skills, expertise and time, we seek to support our volunteers and provide them with opportunities to develop so that they can achieve more, both within the police force and in their roles outside of the organisation".

For more information about West Mercia Police Special Constabulary, visit:
www.westmercia.police.uk/specialconstables